"Cosmo took with him into the unknown the Edwardian aristocrat’s survival kit: a flask of brandy, a colt automatic pistol and a handful of cigars, which he later handed out to the seamen in his rescue boat. "
Was considering the sinking of the Titanic and it's 100th anniversary. A hundred years ago as this is typed the ship was far down in the water but still afloat. That is if I have the time zone correctly calculated. It would have been 1:47 AM (no Daylight Saving Time) in 1912. The ship didn't have long nor did a large number of passengers and crew. I think the first lifeboats were lowered before 1:00.
Funny to think about the 100th anniversary. I was reading (yet again) Walter Lord's "A Night To Remember" on this date in 1972 and about this time of night. That night I remember thinking about how long ago 60 years seemed. As a kid in high school I got on a kick for a few years about reading about the Titanic. "The Maiden Voyage" was published a couple years later and offered more detail including more about the inquiry after the event. I've only revisited both "A Night To Remember" and "The Maiden Voyage" a single time each since adulthood and that was years ago. I've not read any major narratives of the event but did keep up with the efforts to find the sunken ship.
The Titanic and the times in which it was conceived and constructed was the end of a peculiar and awkward age. It was almost as if the march of mankind took a great but stumbling leap. Technology had really ratcheted upward in the previous 30 years. Social mores were in a flux and, in hindsight, pointed to an upheaval of cataclysmic proportions. The hubris of man took a hit in 1912 with the event of the sinking. Within two more years the civilized world was turned upside down with the advent of the First World War and it's gross horrors.
We can sure make a mess of things when we get "too big for our britches."